November 2013

Licorne nuclear test, 1971, French Polynesia

The Differing No-Nuke Stance Between Australia and New Zealand

CANBERRA, Australia — Because of the unique destructive capacity and uncontrollable effects of nuclear weapons, the almost indescribable horror associated with their use informed the very first resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in 1946. It has been a recurring theme ever since in blue-ribbon international commissions, Non-Proliferation Treaty review conferences and General Assembly …

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A Filipino girl in a Pinoy parade.

Putting Women, Peace and Security Matters Into Local Hands

Despite the unprecedented developments in international law addressing women, peace and security issues, progress has been remarkably slow and unpredictable in changing the perception of women as victims of armed conflict into peace-builders and decision-makers. The transformational nature of the ground-breaking Resolution 1325, on women, peace and security, paved the way for many supporting policies, …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Oxfam protesters, climate change conference, Warsaw

UN Climate Talks in Warsaw: What Is There to Negotiate?

GENEVA — The persistence of climate change negotiators huddled together in Warsaw from over 190 countries is laudable. Even when countries are failing to reign in their greenhouse emissions that is causing a rise in global temperatures, the negotiations keep going. This is their 19th attempt under the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United …

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Ethiopian sheep farmers

The US Backs the UN on Women’s Rights and Family Planning

  Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the third international conference on family planning, Anne C. Richard, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, urged strong support for United Nations efforts to promote  the rights of women and girls, including universal access to family planning, as the organization frames new development …

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Afghan women sorting pistachios in Herat

Defending Women’s Rights Against Muslim Fundamentalism

Karima Bennoune grew up in Algeria in the 1990s, a dark period when the country was riven by Muslim fundamentalist violence and a repressive military dictatorship that responded to the fundamentalist threat with its own campaign of terror. Her father, Mahfoud Bennoune, an intellectual and outspoken critic of both the authorities and the fundamentalists who …

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UNDP Ivory Coast elections

The UN Development System, Taking It Local

The United Nations development system is part of the new global order emerging in the 21st century. But interdependence has brought changes. Earlier international relations addressed issues in intergovernmental relations. National political, economic, social and environmental issues were largely left to national governments. Now national policies and issues — on economic management, poverty reduction, good …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Human Rights Council vote 2013

New Human Rights Council Members Include China and Saudi Arabia

The United Nations General Assembly has elected 14 new members to three-year terms on the 45-member Human Rights Council, which is based in Geneva. The new countries to serve on the council, starting on Jan. 1, 2014, are Algeria, Britain, China, Cuba, France, Macedonia, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Vietnam. …

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Belarus stadium

So You Want to Be a Furnace Cleaner? Nyet!

If you are an aspiring snowmobile driver in Kazakhstan and happen to be a woman, you’re out of luck. The same goes for operating cranes at sea, among other labor-intensive jobs in the country, which bans women from dozens of such positions. It could be worse. In Russia alone, women are barred from 456 types …

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Irina Bokova of Unesco

The US, as Predicted, Loses a Valuable Vote at Unesco

As predicted by PassBlue, the United States has lost its voting rights in Unesco, since it stopped paying its dues almost exactly two years ago because of a Congressional ban on support for any UN agency that gives full membership to the Palestinians. Unesco suspended American voting rights on Nov. 8, as well as those …

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Master of Science in Humanitarian Studies at Fordham University
Three children walk to clean dishes in the Niger river in Gao, Mali.

War Crimes Against Women and Girls Must Be Prosecuted

  There is now overwhelming evidence that conflicts exacerbate pre-existing gender discrimination and put women and girls at heightened risk of sexual, physical and psychological violence. One appalling example of this evidence is the report recently to the Human Rights Council by the International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, which highlights the threat and use …

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